All posts by Melanie Paschke

Summary from Response Thematic Event: Sustainable Energy System – Who Will Lead the Way?

In this public event of the Response Doctoral Program, organized by the Energy System Science Center, GreenBuzz and Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center at Siemens in Zug one question was in the focus: how do we get to a sustainable energy system?

For sustainable energy systems the innovative technologies are existing, but we have to combine them in the most sustainable way to decarbonize our future. The questions are what business model change, political regulations and societal adaptation are needed and inevitable and helped us to answer the questions “What steps we should take?”, and “Who will lead the way?”

9 Response doctoral students presented and discussed their research to representatives from the energy sector, companies and the public. They presented their research on green energy models, biofuels, semiconductor efficiency, managing hydropower dams, carbon capture and storage or the future of electrical transport.

From the keynotes:

Kristina Orehounig, Empa draw attention to the housing infrastructure that needs to be cooled in summer and heated in winter due to climate change. For this CO2 emission-low systems need to be combinations of multiple renewable supply technologies in small decentralized networks in neighbourhoods.

Kaja Hollstein, Swissgrid pointed out challenges in the future when the grid system is operated with renewables. In winter demand for heating is highest while supply by photovoltaic drops in several countries at the same time. In this case there will be no import market that can balance the shortages of energy.

Ilonka Zapke, Siemens showed the Wunsiedel blueprint for our energy future. Energy comes from renewables and is stored in one of the largest batteries worldwide. Battery storage might be one solution to energy shortages in the grid system.

Voices of the doctoral students on the event:

Different people have different perspectives on the same research problem. I think it will help me to formulate my research targets through the societal aspect as well.

Participants were asking about the implications of the findings [for society] and about additional aspects that could be included.

More on the research of Arnau Aliana | Manuel Belanche | Linda Brodnicke | Sudesh Dahal | Susanne Rhein | Katrin Sievert | Bessie Noll | Dabwiso Sakala | Fei Wu

This event is part of RESPONSE Doctoral Programme (DP) «RESPONSE – to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences» is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 847585.

Could “advanced” nuclear technologies support low-carbon energy strategies?

Response Doctoral Programme

“No” says Bessie Noll et al. (2021) in a synthesis paper as renewable energy technologies have significant advantage over current non-traditional nuclear reactor designs.

Taking insight foremost from a 2021 study by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) on “advanced” nuclear reactors, their synthesis examines three non-traditional nuclear reactor designs based on three UCS defined evaluation criterion—safety and security risk, sustainability, and nuclear proliferation potential—as well as one additional criterion added newly, “economics”.  Proclaimed advantages of non-traditional over traditional reactors are also included in an “Expectation vs. Reality” rapid-fire comparison.

Some of the arguments:

  • Technologically immature non-traditional reactors have to compete with renewable energy technologies which are already today drastically cheaper on a $/kWh basis and have much steeper learning curves.
  • Even with optimistic assumptions for deployment timelines, non-traditional reactors will likely be outcompeted in deployment by renewables and grid-scale battery storage (in some cases, they already are)—relatively more mature technologies that are readily being deployed today
  • It is highly unlikely that non-traditional reactors will be able to ramp-up construction fast enough to stay in-line with climate targets.
  • Nuclear reactors built in a modular fashion are not spared the curse of high capital cost and long construction times in practice.
  • Non-traditional reactors introduce new safety issues that will require extensive testing and analysis. The technology itself is too early in its development stage to be certain of all possible safety issues.

Citation: Bessie Noll, Tonja Iten, Fabian Lüscher (2021). A SYNTHESIZED ANALYSIS OF THE STATE OF THE “ADVANCED” US NUCLEAR INDUSTRY. Schweizerische Energiestiftung:


Bessie Noll is currently a fellow in the RESPONSE Doctoral Programme (DP) «RESPONSE – to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences» funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 847585.

Other insights on the role of nuclear power and the ongoing transformation towards renewables in Japan can be found in her blog contribution: “When institutional incumbents hinder energy transitions: Japan’s energy story”, Energy Blog @ ETH Zurich, ETH Zurich, March 29, 2021, https://blogs.ethz.ch/energy/energy-japan/

Her research project on the energy transition in the transport sector – assessing the impact of European and national policies on future drive technology mixes, energy use, and emission pathways — at ETH Zurich is together with Prof. Tobias Schmidt, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences at the Energy Politics Groups and in collaboration with the Swiss Energy Foundation (SES), Switzerland.

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Response Thematic Event: Sustainable Energy System – Who Will Lead the Way?

June 16, 18:00 – 20:30.

More info and registration: https://www.greenbuzz.global/zurich/event/sustainable-energy-system/

This event is part of RESPONSE Doctoral Programme (DP) «RESPONSE – to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences» is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 847585.

Response Thematic Event: Sustainable Energy System – Who Will Lead the Way?

June 16, 18:00 – 20:30. More info and registration: https://www.greenbuzz.global/zurich/event/sustainable-energy-system/

This event is part of RESPONSE Doctoral Programme (DP) «RESPONSE – to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences» is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 847585.

Technical innovation, massive business model change and societal adaptation are inevitable if we are to build a sustainable energy system. But how do we get there? What steps should we take? And who will lead the way? We dive into this topic and take an interdisciplinary approach with our event partner, the Energy Science Center of ETH Zurich, and our host, Siemens.

Energy demands are evolving fast. Nations are moving to build more self-reliance on their energy systems. We have an increasing demand for electricity and at the same time, we have aggressive goals to cut carbon emissions. Energy infrastructure projects will require long-term investments, so finance and governments are key to the solutions.

The only way to tackle the complex problem we face is through an interdisciplinary approach. Cutting-edge research is being done, but what can we learn? What support is required?

At this event, we will hear expert inputs by three keynote speakers from academia, business and the public sector. After these inputs, we will have the exclusive opportunity to dive deep into the topic by learning from eight doctoral students researching the hurdles and working on specific solutions for a sustainable energy system.

Join us to discuss the following questions – moderated by Christian Schaffner – and to learn from the doctoral students who are immersed in these topics:

  • How can energy policy support the speed of technical innovation?
  • How can green energy models be economically favorable?
  • What is the latest research on biofuels, semiconductor efficiency, managing hydropower dams, carbon capture and storage, the future of transport?
  • What are government and societal roles around the storage and transport of nuclear waste?

We are happy to announce that this event is hosted by Siemens in their state of the art Swiss Headquarters in Zug. The Siemens Campus is a great example of the interplay between new technological solutions and the energy efficiency and sustainability they bring with them.


Programme

17:30 – 18:00    Guest arrival (recommended train 17.10 from HB*)

18:00 – 18:15    Welcome by ETH, Siemens and GreenBuzz

18:15 – 18:45    Inputs by

18:45 – 19:05    Panel discussion moderated by Christian Schaffner

19:05 – 20:00    Moderated Poster-Session with PhD students on their research. Including:

  • Arnau Aliana
  • Manuel Belanche
  • Linda Brodnicke
  • Sudesh Dahal
  • Susanne Rhein
  • Katrin Sievert
  • Bessie Noll
  • Dabwiso Sakala
  • Fei Wu

20:00 – 21:00    Apéro hosted by Siemens  and chance to visit the Experience Center

* For participants who are visiting from Zurich we recommend taking the IR70 leaving 17.10 from HB  (21 minutes until Zug, followed by a short walk). For those who would like to travel in a GreenBuzz group, we will meet at the HB meeting point at 16:55 and enjoy some buzzing conversations en route.

Lokale Nahrungsversorgung mitgestalten: 23. Juni, 2022, 19:00

Mit lokalen Initiativen gestalten wir die Ernährungslandschaft im Quartier. Ideen, Anliegen, Wünsche und zukünftige Mitmacher:innen in Ernährungsrojekten willkommen.

Informationen zum Programm: https://deinquartiernachhaltig.org/lokale-nahrungsversorgung-mitgestalten/

Das Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center zusammen mit GZ und Quartierverein Riesbach lädt ein: Im interaktiven Workshop können Quartierbewohner:innen gemeinsam die Ernährungslandschaft im Quartier und Zürich gestalten und bringen ihre Anliegen und Wünsche ein. Wir fragen: „Was kann lokale und ökologische Ernährung im Qartier leisten? Welche Hürden müssen überwunden werden und welche Chancen können entstehen? Welche Kapazitäten das Quartier Riesbach und Zürich?».

Continue reading Lokale Nahrungsversorgung mitgestalten: 23. Juni, 2022, 19:00

Lokale Nahrungsversorgung mitgestalten: 23. Juni, 2022, 19:00

Mit lokalen Initiativen gestalten wir die Ernährungslandschaft im Quartier. Ideen, Anliegen, Wünsche und zukünftige Mitmacher:innen in Ernährungsrojekten willkommen.

Informationen zum Programm & Anmelden: https://deinquartiernachhaltig.org/lokale-nahrungsversorgung-mitgestalten/


Das Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center zusammen mit GZ und Quartierverein Riesbach lädt ein: Im interaktiven Workshop können Quartierbewohner:innen gemeinsam die Ernährungslandschaft im Quartier und Zürich gestalten und bringen ihre Anliegen und Wünsche ein. Wir fragen: „Was kann lokale und ökologische Ernährung im Qartier leisten? Welche Hürden müssen überwunden werden und welche Chancen können entstehen? Welche Kapazitäten das Quartier Riesbach und Zürich?»

Continue reading Lokale Nahrungsversorgung mitgestalten: 23. Juni, 2022, 19:00

Proceedings of the Response Summer School 2021

How can we teach PhD student’s ways to generate varieties of transformative solutions to urgencies ahead?

Summer schools can enrich the learning experience of participants. The summer school proceedings are a summary of the learning journeys of the participants on the five case studies: Digital technologies for urban micro farms, circular approaches in the food system, vertical farming, sustainable and resilient energy, food and biodiversity landscapes, stewardship of land use change?

Report (PDF)

Citation: Response Summer School «Responsible Research, Innovation and Transformation in Food, Plant and Energy Sciences» Learning Journey and Reflection. Melanie Paschke (ed.). Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, 2021. With contributions by: Manuel Belanche Guadas, Linda Brodnicke, Dusan Denic, Danli Fei, Linda Frattini, Laurent Giguère, Reah Gonzales, Monika Katarzyna Goralczyk, Katharina Jung, Xeniya Kim, Simon Landauer, Yuanyuan Liang, Alberto Linares Quiros, Simone Markoff, Bessie Noll, Dabwiso Sakala, Fei Wu, and Francesca Zuffa: https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/handle/20.500.11850/523545.2                                        

                                          

Continue reading Proceedings of the Response Summer School 2021

Politikstipendien für Wissenschaftlerinnen oder Wissenschaftler

Die Stiftung wissenschaftliche Politikstipendien vergibt per September 2022 zwei Politikstipendien für junge Wissen­schaftler­innen oder Wissenschaftler. Die Stipendien ermöglichen Abgängerinnen und Abgängern von Schweizer Hochschulen aller Fachbereiche und Disziplinen, die politischen Prozesse im Schweizer Parlament kennenzulernen. Für ein Jahr unterstützen Sie die Arbeit der Parlamentsdienste im Bundeshaus in Bern. Die Bewerbungsfrist läuft bis zum 15. März 2022. Weiter (externer Link)